The 47th GST Council meeting was held on 28th March 2020. The meeting was chaired by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and was attended by the representatives of all the states and union territories. The key decisions taken in the meeting are as follows:
The GST rates on the following items were revised:
1. The GST rate on mobile phones and specified parts has been increased from 12% to 18%. This decision was taken to curb the misuse of the facility of concessional GST rate of 12% on mobile phones and parts thereof.
2. The GST rate on maintenance and repair services of railway wagons and coaches has been reduced from 18% to 12%.
3. The GST rate on MRO services for aircraft has been reduced from 18% to 5% with full input tax credit.
The due date for filing of GST returns for March, April, and May 2020 has been extended till 30th June 2020.
The GST refunds for exporters will be processed automatically by the GSTN system from now onwards. The refund will be directly credited to the bank account of the exporter. The system will also issue a warning in case of any discrepancies in the refund claim to ensure that the exporters are not harassed unnecessarily.
The GST compliance procedures have been simplified for small taxpayers. The taxpayers with a turnover of less than Rs. 5 crore will not be required to file GSTR-1 and GSTR-3B returns on a monthly basis. They will file these returns on a quarterly basis with effect from the quarter starting from 1st April 2020.
The GST Council meetings will be held via video conferencing till the month of June 2020. The decision has been taken to avoid physical meetings due to the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.
The decisions taken in the 47th GST Council meeting are expected to provide relief to the taxpayers and simplify the GST compliance procedures. The extension of the due date for filing of GST returns and the simplification of compliance procedures for small taxpayers will ease the compliance burden. The reduction in GST rates for maintenance and repair services of railway wagons and coaches and MRO services for aircraft will reduce the cost of services. However, the increase in GST rate on mobile phones and specified parts may increase the cost of mobile phones.
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